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Vermont lawmakers at odds over drug screening bill

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) With just days left on the 2014 Vermont legislative schedule, House and Senate lawmakers are at odds over a top priority of Gov. Peter Shumlin: getting nonviolent criminal defendants with drug problems into treatment, rather than on a path to jail.

The Senate on Tuesday declined to go along with House proposals of amendment on what some are calling the pre-trial screening bill.

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The effort to move some defendants from the criminal justice system into drug treatment has been pushed by Shumlin as a way to address Vermont's growing abuse of heroin and other opiate drugs.

Shumlin says he'll work with the conference committee to ensure the bill passes this week.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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